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  1. #61
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    At least here in the Toronto area, a duplex is always top and bottom, never side by side.

    As an aside, the vernacular single-family-residential architecture of Philadelphia is very similar to ours, while that of Buffalo, our nearest big American neighbour, is quite different. I have no idea why.

  2. #62
    5jj's Avatar
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    This difference in the words we use to refer to houses suggests to me that the second floor is always a safe bet. A second floor is probably OK only if you know that a second floor is not usual.

  3. #63
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    For me, there is absolutely no difference in meaning between:

    1. I'm reading Hamlet for the second time.
    2. I'm reading Hamlet for a second time.
    3. I'm reading Hamlet a second time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexey86 View Post
    If these were the same, then there were is/would be/should be nothing that could preventing you from saying either This is the second time I'm reading Hamlet or This is a second time I'm reading Hamlet. But the thing is that I couldn't find a single example of "this is a second time..."
    No, you can't extrapolate that. Just because something can be used in one construction, with one word order, doesn't mean you can use the same words in a different sentence in a different order. That's like saying that just because I can say "I have a cat" then I must be able to say "Have a cat I".

    A sentence that starts "This is ..." doesn't necessarily use the same words in the rest of the sentence as a sentence starting "I'm reading ...".

    I'm not surprised you couldn't find any examples of "This is a second time ...". I can't think of a natural context in which it would work.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. #64
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    Re: This is a/the second time...

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    At least here in the Toronto area, a duplex is always top and bottom, never side by side.

    As an aside, the vernacular single-family-residential architecture of Philadelphia is very similar to ours, while that of Buffalo, our nearest big American neighbour, is quite different. I have no idea why.
    The European settlers in all three were mostly British. But Buffalo was burned down during the war of 1812. That might have ushered in different building styles.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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